In the 1940s, Nazi Germany under the government of Adolf Hitler was advancing its conquest of Europe during the Second World War. By May 1940, Luxembourg, a small neutral country bordering Germany, was placed under military occupation by forces of the Third Reich. The meager resistance made by local police forces and customs officers at the border crossing was quickly crushed by the German Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.
The Togolese President Gnassingbé Eyadema came to power in 1967 after he led the army in a bloodless coup to take over the previously multi-party government. By 1990, Eyadema had been president for 23 years and had banned all political parties except for his Rally of the Togolese People. President Eyadema had been able to keep the country’s economy relatively stable at the same time as he put many of his Kabye tribe members into top government and military posts. Nearly 70% of all members of the military were from the Kabye tribe, despite the fact that the Ewe tribe repres
At the beginning of April 1961, after nearly seven years of war in Algeria as France tried to maintain its control there, French President Charles de Gaulle announced that he would begin negotiations with the Algerian nationalists and soon relinquish control of the colony. At the time France had approximately 500,000 soldiers stationed in Algeria and very few remaining at home. Several of the generals in Algeria, however, did not want to concede to the Algerian nationalists.
The strikes and demonstrations that deposed President Gustavo Rojas Pinilla of Colombia were planned somewhat day to day and began as reactionary actions in response to Rojas’s attempts to hold power indefinitely. The opposition to Rojas had a wide base, across social classes and political party lines, and varied spokesmen, from students to political leaders to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a result of the growing discontentment with the direction of the Rojas regime.
Mobutu Sese Seko became the president of Zaire in 1965. Mobutu’s presidency began after serving as a Chief of Staff of the Congolese Army during the Congo Crisis, which started off as a war of independence from Belgium. Soon after becoming president, Mobutu established an authoritarian government with a new constitution and a one political party system.
Sierra Leone is a West African country of 6 million people. Now a constitutional democracy, dictators and one-party governments ruled for decades and the people endured periods of civil war.
In 1996 the country had its first multiparty elections and freely elected its first civilian government in 34 years. Hope soared. The following year, on May 25, a group of young military officers led a coup that overthrew the government. The new government called itself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
In December 1950, the municipal authorities in Barcelona increased the cost of tram fare by 40%. Working class families were outraged. The cost of living had been rising and the price of food was at an all-time high. On February 8, 1951, an anonymous leaflet circulated throughout Barcelona, calling for a boycott of the city’s trams to begin on March 1 until the fares were returned to their regular price. As the date of the boycott approached, citizens from across the city began to make their anger known. On February 22, groups of individuals united in protest a
For two years prior to this campaign there was a violent struggle to oust dictator Gerardo Machado: running gun battles, bombings, political assassinations. The leading violent group agreed to a ceasefire in July 1933 to allow for mediation, but smaller groups continued with some attacks.
In 1938, El Salvadoran president General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez proposed changing the country’s constitution so that he could continue holding his position beyond the end of his second term.
Agitation in Iran was visible by May 1977 in predominantly intellectual circles. A group of lawyers—upset by the government’s interference in the judiciary—drafted a strongly worded manifesto chronicling the legal abuses that had occurred under the Shah’s regime. Poets formed a Writers’ Association to call for an end to censorship and the activity of SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police. A National Organization of University Teachers began fighting for academic freedom while university and seminary students called for academic freedom in the schools.
In Vienna in the summer of 1927, the Social Democrats represented a local majority, but faced resistance from the federal government and many rural fascist-leaning areas. In July, a federal court found the Tscharmon brothers and Julius Pinter, members of the militaristic Front-fighters (a group opposed to the Social Democrats), not guilty for the murder of a worker and eight-year-old boy during January demonstrations by the Socialist Republican Guard. Viennese workers heard of this acquittal early in the morning on Friday, July 15, 1927. Workers left their posts, held meet
Since gaining independence from France in 1958, autocratic rulers have controlled Guinea and made it one of the poorest countries in the world despite the fact that the country is rich in aluminum. The first ruler, Ahmed Sékou Touré, held office for almost 30 years until his death. Lansansa Conté seized power through a coup d’état after this and maintained his rule until 2008 when he also died. Then, Moussa “Dadis” Camara seized control of the government through another coup d’état on December 23, 2008. Though the government remained fairly stable throughout this tim
In 1957, the Public Utility Transport Corporation (PUTCO) in South Africa raised the bus fare from 4d to 5d for commuters in Johannesburg. This was equivalent to 2 pennies or 1 shilling (15c) more that the South Africans would need to pay a week.
However, 80 percent of Johannesburg Africans lived under the poverty line, and so the raise was far more than the Africans could afford. The black South Africans in Alexandra grew tired of the behavior and exploitation of the PUTCO and of their own meager wages.
During the fall of 1968, Ayub Khan celebrated his tenth year as president of Pakistan. In honor of this anniversary, he declared his reign as the “Decade of Development,” an action that sparked an outbreak of protests against the state.
Much of Pakistan was already discontent with the Ayub regime. Following the 1965 war with India, Pakistan experienced a huge economic gap. The working classes faced the burden of this disparity.
In 1960 South Africa was under the rule of the National Party, which was imposing harsh, demeaning laws on black South Africans. The party was made up entirely of white people, mostly the descendants of Dutch immigrants. The party was devoted to apartheid and white supremacy, maintained through a collection of policies, including the pass laws.
In May 1980 the Town City and Divisional Council of the Greater Cape Flats and neighboring areas informed residents, largely blacks and Indians, that their rents would increase in June. Government-supported apartheid had previously forced people of color to move from Cape Town to suburbs in the Cape Flats. The announced rent increase in the Cape Flats was unaffordable to the residents of the area, who were already burdened by unemployment, low wages, and an economic recession. The increased costs would force people of color in Cape Flats even farther from their previous homes.
For 38 years, Togo was ruled by a military dictator, General Gnassingbe Eyadema. Following Eyadema’s death in 2005, the military installed his son, Faure Gnassingbe, as President, in what the African Union has denounced as a military coup d’etat.
Although Faure Gnassingbe won democratic elections in 2005 and 2010, both election results have been called into question amid allegations of fraud and intimidation. Togo’s next legislative elections were slated to take place in October 2012, although no date had been announced.
Following the assassination of his father, Joseph Kabila took power and the position of President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 26 January 2001. He subsequently won re-election in December 2011, with charges of an illegitimate election surrounding the outcome. On 17 January, 2015, students began mass protests over an announcement that President Kabila would remain in power until the government completed a census. This began the nonviolent protest movement to remove President Kabila from office and prevent him from remaining in power for a third term.
Torres Strait soldiers stage stay-at-home strikes to demand full pay and an end to discrimination in the army, 1943
South of Papua New Guinea (PNG) lies the Torres Strait. The strait consists of 274 islands, 14 of which are inhabited by a predominantly Melanesian population. Based on the 2016 census, the total population of the Torres Strait is 4,514 compared to an estimated size of 1,800 in 1943. Torres Strait Islanders are an ethnic minority in Australia and, historically, have been discriminated against by the Australian government.